Recent figures reveal that the model adopted by Ron DeSantis to address the coronavirus pandemic in Florida has largely been successful.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida’s death rate among seniors is about 20% lower than California’s and 50% lower than New York’s, two states run by Democrats who have pushed a radical model of confinement.
Several Democratic governors, including Cuomo and Phil Murphy of New Jersey, early in the pandemic demanded that nursing homes accept Covid-19 patients discharged from hospitals, even though they did not have the appropriate number of staff who could adequately care for them.
However, investigations by Attorney General Letitia James estimated that deaths in New York State nursing homes were 50% higher than Cuomo’s official figures, although it is impossible to know how many deaths his order caused.
While many states followed Cuomo’s model, DeSantis opted for a different model. The governor set out to bolster the equipment and capabilities of nursing homes in the state by providing them with personal protective equipment. He also established 23 dedicated coronavirus nursing facilities for elderly patients discharged from hospitals. If they could not be isolated, they were immediately sent to these facilities.
DeSantis followed the initial restrictions enacted by former President Donald Trump, but left day care centers, construction sites, hotels and beaches open. Despite ups and downs in the numbers of newly infected, DeSantis stuck with his model.
In September, DeSantis lifted capacity restrictions on restaurants and bars. He also overturned local measures that tried to keep them closed. “We said every business has the right to operate; you can’t shut anything down. Everyone has the right to work,” he said.
According to the Sun-Sentinel, “Florida’s unemployment rate fell to 6.1% in December as the state’s lockout avoidance policy helped keep the financial recovery moving even as the COVID-19 pandemic grows.”
The conditions that DeSantis’ measures produced made Florida a draw for the rest of the country. According to The New York Times, there was a large migration of people from the north to the Sunshine State.
“According to an August report by Douglas Elliman, new contracts for single-family homes and condominiums continued to rise in five counties on Florida’s south and west central coast, after doubling in July.” “In Miami-Dade, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, much of the annual gain came at higher prices. Brokers say many of those moving to Florida are coming from northern cities.”
The ratings favor DeSantis and the model he proposed, despite accusations and criticism from the media. Although it may seem a risky strategy, Florida is not in the same situation as Democratic states such as New York.